Relearning Guitar

10 years ago I had to stop playing guitar because of hand injuries. I had sold an online business and decided to move to Spain to study flamenco guitar. I signed up for a guitar program there and got a student visa, but my hands got injured a few months before I left. That was the end of my guitar playing days, and I had to give up my hopes to become a musician.

My hands have been doing well enough lately to practice at least a little while in quarantine, so I’ve decided to pick it up again. I want to see how far I can go with it by the time the pandemic is over. This time I’m going to start by learning jazz/contemporary music theory, but things may change.

My only guitar at the moment is a classical guitar with nylon strings. I don’t want to push my right hand too hard, so I’ll use a pick. I plan to get an electric guitar eventually, because the strings require less pressure. I’ve been inspired lately by listening to old recordings of Allan Holdsworth, Pete Cosey, John McLaughlin, and John Etheridge from the early 1970s. There is a certain reason why I’m interested in that music, but I’ll save it for another blog post.

I also have a site called and have always wanted to get a 5-course Baroque guitar and try to help bring attention to the instrument.

Vermeer's Baroque guitar

Learning Materials

To begin, I’m working through a book called A Modern Method for Guitar: Volumes 1, 2, 3 Complete by William Leavitt. It’s a textbook from Berklee School of Music in Boston that looked like it would be a good way to relearn how to read music and increase knowledge of the fretboard.

I started the book on May 17th and will see how long it takes to get through it. I’m averaging about 10 pages per day and the book is 424 pages.

Other Interesting Guitar and Music Theory Books

I’ve been looking around for books to check out after I finish the current one. I found some recommendations on YouTube and various other sources. A checkmark in the first column means that I already have the book from years ago.

Chord ChemistryGreene
Scales Over Chords (Book and CD)Wilbur SavidgeRecommended1
Amazing PhrasingTom KolbRecommended1
Music Theory [Hal Leonard Guitar Method]Tom KolbRecommended1
Soloing Strategies for GuitarTom KolbRecommended1
?How to Play Jazz & Improvise (series)Jamey AebersoldRecommended1
Blues You Can UseJohn GanapesRecommended1
Flamenco Guitar (sample)Graf-MartinezRecommended1
Understanding How to Build Guitar Chords & ArpeggiosMichael PolicastroRecommended1
Jazz Guitar, Complete Edition (Book & CD)Jody FisherRecommended1
Pumping NylonScott TennantRecommended1
Speed Mechanics for Lead GuitarTroy StetinaRecommended1
The Advancing GuitaristMick GoodrickRecommended3
Ultimate Country Play-AlongLee, Donhaue, TrovatoRecommended1
Effortless Mastery: Liberating the Master Musician WithinKenny WernerRecommended1
Guitar Grimoire[^2]Recommended1
Building Walking Bass LinesEd FriedlandRecommended3
Twentieth-Century HarmonyVincent PersichettiRecommended3
A Chromatic Approach to Jazz HarmonyDavid LiebmanRecommended3
Harmonic ExperienceW. A. MathieuRecommended3
The Jazz Theory BookMark Levine